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E3 One Year Later: Microsoft Press Briefing
Welcome to E3 One Year Later, my look at the biggest E3 announcements of last year’s show. I’ll talk about what was announced and whether or not it came to fruition.
THIS WEEK: Microsoft Media Briefing
NEXT WEEK: Sony Media Briefing
FOLLOWING WEEK: Nintendo E3 2011 Presentation
THREE WEEKS FROM NOW: Best Games of E3 2011
Today I’m focusing on Microsoft’s E3 2011 press briefing, considered by many at the time to be the weakest of the three. However, with almost a full calendar year since that conference, did Microsoft make due on their promises? Let’s see:
NOTE: Because I can’t find a full clip of the conference, I’m using the four parts IGN.com broke the conference into on YouTube. Thanks to IGN for the foresight.
–Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 demo. The game did in fact come out, with the mission in this demo a part of the campaign. I have to declare this a promise kept. SCORE: 1/1
–Tomb Raider demo. The game looked DAMN good, both on-stage and in the demo on the show floor. Unfortunately, the game isn’t out yet, but the men on stage did say they were targeting a Fall 2012 launch window. Since that hasn’t happened yet, I have to score this for Microsoft. SCORE: 2/2
–EA Sports Kinect Integration. Peter Moore hit the stage to talk about how the library of EA Sports games, including Madden, Tiger Woods, and FIFA Soccer, would use Kinect to add features to the games. Tiger Woods followed through, but the other two games did not. Madden 13 is expected to use Kinect controls, and the jury is still out on FIFA 13. Also, you’ll notice that Peter didn’t specify WHICH years would use Kinect, he just said that the franchises would. That sly move gives Microsoft another point, technicality or not. SCORE: 3/3
–Mass Effect 3 Kinect Integration. Dr. Ray took the stage with another member of BioWare to show how Mass Effect 3’s voice recognition system worked. Voice integration did indeed make it into Mass Effect 3’s final product, though I wonder how many people still use it. I hear that if you say “red green blue” really fast, it doesn’t computer. Nevertheless, another kept promise from the Microsoft show. SCORE: 4/4
–Ghost Recon: Future Soldier demo. Ubisoft shows a trailer for their futuristic shooter, then moves into the detailed gun customization and Kinect integration. The full retail product isn’t available until May 22nd, but the beta very clearly had gun customization, though I never tested the Kinect integration. However, the customization is just as detailed as was shown here, so another point goes to Microsoft. SCORE: 5/5
–New Xbox Experience walkthrough. It’s the new dashboard. We all use it. Kinect works with it too. +1. SCORE 6/6
–YouTube on Xbox Live. Yup, this happened too, though it’s not technically sound. +1. SCORE 7/7
–Bing on Xbox Live. Easiest way to find what Microsoft purposely hid from you. It works, not going to lie. SCORE: 8/8
–UFC on Xbox Live. Dammit, they delivered on a lot of their Xbox Live promises. SCORE: 9/9
–Gears of War 3 demo. Again, everything they talked about came true, and kudos for Ice-T’s stage appearance. Xbox is nothing if not efficient. SCORE: 10/10
–Ryse trailer. Crytek’s Kinect game has yet to see the light of day, but what was shown did look promising. Wouldn’t be fair to give it a point, though. Sorry guys. SCORE: 10/11
–Halo: Anniversary Edition trailer. A quick teaser at the show turned into one of the best remakes on any console. Happy to give a point here. SCORE: 11/12
–Forza 4 trailer. This just turned into a list of different features that Forza 4 boasted and a trailer, but everything they said came to fruition. Once again, Microsoft came through. SCORE: 12/13
–Fable: The Journey demo. Now what is known to be Peter Molyneux’s last game with Microsoft, the man himself takes the stage to show us what the game is all about. Unfortunately for this article, Fable The Journey still isn’t available yet, so no point for Microsoft here. SCORE: 12/14
–Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition announcement. While this will become true on Wednesday, the conference promised that Minecraft would hit Xbox Live in the winter. That didn’t happen. No dice. SCORE: 12/15
–Kinect Disneyland Adventures demo. Creepy paid children aside, Kinect Disneyland did hit stores this past fall. I haven’t the slightest idea how it is, which is especially surprising considering my Disney fanaticism. Seriously, I’ve been to Disney World in Orlando eleven times. ELEVEN. I’m only 25. SCORE: 13/16
–Kinect Star Wars demo. Yes, this demo was cool. Yes, the game came out. No, Microsoft did NOT tell us about the dancing Han Solo part last June WHEN THEY SHOULD HAVE. I want to dock a point, but that would be unfair, as they did deliver the goods. SCORE: 14/17
–Sesame Street Once Upon A Monster demo. Tim Schafer’s charming demo (with more creepy kids) did turn into a full retail release this past fall. I have actually tried this game, and it’s proof positive that Tim Schafer can do no wrong. NO WRONG I SAY. SCORE: 15/18
–Kinect Fun Labs demo. I didn’t even know these things existed after the unveiling. I completely forgot about them until recently, but they are there. I’ve yet to try them out, but I can’t deny that Microsoft did deliver. SCORE: 16/19
-Kinect Sports Season 2 trailer. Alright, NOW we’re talking. Kinect Sports Season Two launched this past fall, and it’s probably the best Kinect offering available. I loved Kinect Sports, and I love Season 2 even more. Football, man. FOOTBALL. SCORE: 17/20
–Dance Central 2 demo. The last Kinect game announced was another game that successfully launched over the 2011 holiday. Dance Central 2 was just as widely accepted as its predecessor, so I’ve no choice but to declare it yet another promise kept. SCORE: 18/21
-Halo 4 reveal. I really have no idea what to score this. On the one hand, the game isn’t out yet, but it does have a date of November 6th. However, they weren’t intending for it to be launched anytime soon, as this was just a “hey, this is happening” type of announcement. This year will be the big Halo 4 year, but as far as 2011 goes I feel that they did what they set out to do: get people talking. +1. SCORE: 19/22
FINAL SCORE: 19 out of 22
It’s hard to fathom that 360 touched on twenty-two different things at last year’s conference. While they may not have been the most interesting announcements in the world, give Microsoft credit: they came through on all but three of the things they spoke about a year ago. That kind of efficiency should be applauded, regardless of one’s reaction to what was actually revealed.
NEXT WEEK: Sony goes under the knife. Will they be as successful as Microsoft was in keep their promises? We’ll soon find out.